The Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet is taking steps to document sites of archeological value within municipal boundaries via a mapping project.
Through an arrangement with a firm in Winnipeg, a certified archeologist will come to the community when the snow has cleared – likely in June or July – to assist in the mapping initiative, said economic development officer David Kattegatsiak.
The goal is to preserve sites of historical value when future development is planned.
There’s also interest in Chesterfield Inlet to obtain a heritage designation for St. Theresa’s Hospital, which was built in the early 1930s.
“It’s a very well structured building,” Kattegatsiak said.
Commercial fishing a possibility
The Arviat Hunters and Trappers Organization’s board of directors is examining the viability of a commercial fishery, likely for Arctic char, said Andrea Ishalook, the HTO’s manager.
“We’re trying to work on it right now and see if it’s going to be approved,” Ishalook said, adding that many details still need to be sorted out.
She said she’s heard elders speaking of large-scale fishing in the Arviat area “a long time ago.” The board’s next meeting was set for Feb. 12.
Leading the Way to get underway
After a week’s delay, registration for the Leading the Way after-school drop-in program for youth ages 10 to 12 took place last week.
If all goes according to plan, the games at the community hall will begin this week.
“There’s a bunch of activities throughout the 10 weeks,” said Bobby Akerolik, a supervisor of the Leading the Way program, who took training through the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut recently.
Akerolik, who also coaches hockey, described a version of tag called “hot dog” where players who get tagged have to lie on their stomach and the only way they can be freed is to call out, “I need buns.” Then two other players have to lie down on either side of the tagged players to get them back in the game.
“Lots of fun and games,” he said. “It’s just to keep them going and keep them active.”
Where did the polar bears go?
Four polar bear tags have been accounted for, but the last of those four was used in November. Another four tags have yet to be turned in, according to Lisa Jones, manager of the Issatik Hunters and Trappers Association. It seems that the predators have been steering clear of Whale Cove for the past few months, eluding hunters.
“It’s been a while … now that we have tags, those bears don’t want to show up,” said Jones, adding there’s no expiration date on the tags.
She noted that the HTA hired a couple of bear monitors last fall to help ensure the safety of community members since bears were close to town at that time.
Last week of work readiness training program
Participants in a work readiness program, offered jointly between the Hamlet of Arviat and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., are heading into the final stretch this week.
There were close to 180 applicants for 75 seats in the five weeks of lessons, said hamlet economic development officer Melodie Obszarski.
“It’s a very popular training program that we deliver,” she said, adding that this is the fifth intake since 2013.
Segments of the training include assertiveness, grief and trauma techniques, coping skills, conflict resolution, safety, improving communication and job interview preparation.
Once participants have earned their work readiness certificate, they are put on a list to take a site readiness program at the Meadowbank gold mine, said Obszarski.
These are necessary steps to becoming mine employees.
She noted that applications from young adults who are still in high school are screened out.
“When they’re still in high school, we don’t pull them out of school,” she said. “We aim for people who graduated and people who are seeking employment.
“We are very careful with our selection process here.”